Likely rattled by the slim nature of the House majority they retained in November, Democrats appear to be on the verge of using procedural chicanery to snatch another seat out of the GOP’s hands.
According to the Daily Wire, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is open to the possibility that her party would take steps to replace Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller (R-IA) with Democrat challenger Rita Hart, who lost the hotly contested November election by just six votes.
The controversy stems from the fact that the race for Iowa’s 2nd congressional district seat was extremely close – Miller-Meeks won by a mere 0.0015 percentage points – but that the outcome was ultimately certified following a formal recount, as the Des Moines Register reported.
Subsequently, Hart lodged an official challenge of the results with the House Committee on Administration, which has authority to review election returns and outcomes, and which can also determine who will be seated in Congress.
On Wednesday, that committee convened to address a motion filed by Miller-Meeks which would dismiss Hart’s challenge to the election results once and for all, but it ultimately voted to table consideration of the measure and to begin the process of determining “procedures, legal principles, and timelines” for resolving the dispute, according to National Review.
At a press conference the following day, Pelosi was asked if there was a real possibility that Miller-Meeks, who was provisionally sworn in to Congress on Jan. 3, would be unseated and replaced by her Democrat rival. She replied:
Well, I respect the work of the Committee. I did see, as you saw in the press, what [the committee] decided to, and they were following my, as I read it, the requirements of the law as to how you go forward, and how you go forward is the path you’re on.
And, and we’ll see where that takes us.
Yeah, but there could be a scenario to that extent, yes.
Though Pelosi is justified in her belief that Congress has the right to seat whomever it chooses, and that the Constitution specifies that “each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members,” only once in the last 35 years has an outcome been overturned in the manner being suggested in this case.
Upon learning of the committee’s decision and Pelosi’s comments in response, the Iowa Republican Party issued a tweet warning that the speaker and her Democrat colleagues “are going to try and steal #IA02,” further declaring, “they must be stopped.”
Given the nakedly partisan and wholly unabashed manner in which Pelosi is trying to do with brute force what could not be done at the ballot box, it is hard to disagree with that assessment.